After a couple of weeks back in Melbourne, I boarded a flight bound for South Africa to continue with post production on my Minute Maid Juice Commercial for China!
Its not often I get to fly in that direction, actually this was my first time, so I was super excited about both the job and the prospect of getting to know a new country. Flying via Johannesburg the trip was long but made easier from a business class seat! That would become important on the way home but I’ll keep that for later! For the next two weeks, I called Cape Town home and Marc Bloch did his very best to showoff all that the region had to offer. Not only that, he brought us all to his home for dinner with his family which was incredibly hospitable of him. Very early morning, Kelly Pon, myself and Marc would drive out to various sites around Cape Town and surrounding Table Mountain and shoot Time Lapse sunrises! Later in the post weeks, he drove us to the Cape of Good Hope, the Wineries of Franchek, restaurants at Hout Bay, Table Mountain and many other incredible places around Cape Town. I was totally blown away by the beauty of the countryside, the light through the mist, clouds of the Cape and the rich animal life that seemed to be everywhere. I must have exposed 250Gb+ of photos while I was there. In fact I had to buy another hard drive to cope with the mass of data!
The Online process went on during all of this. We popped in and out of Black Ginger to review the 3D, look at compositing with Flame Operator Marco and generally finesse the Online process.
Black Ginger have a large team of 3D technicians, masters and artists working for them. On our project, we were lucky to have a very skilled freelancer modelling and animating pulp, while utilising in house Nuke & After Effects compositors to prepare many of the shots for the finish compositing in Flame. It’s always great watching different Post Houses and their approach to the work load. Black Ginger is very process driven and “develops” the finished product through review, commissioning to artists and production line hand offs. It’s a “Studio” approach rather then a small shop approach and definitely reflects Black Ginger’s capability at handling large scale Hollywood epics! Not that it ever got so process driven that it felt impersonal, cold, or” factory like” but rather it felt skilfully guided by Marc Bloch and his team!
Without a doubt I fell in love with South Africa’s landscape, light and animal kingdom! I never had the time to go to a Safari Park or explore the north eastern regions of South Africa but it’s now definitely on my list of things to do. I can’t thank Marc Bloch enough for his hospitality and guidance. I had such a good time!
But all things come to an end. The two weeks were up and we did squeeze every last minute working on the final version of the TVC! Finally it was time to fly home. After saying good by to Marc, I flew to Johannesburg and was promptly grounded! During the time I was in the air, the ash from a Chilean Volcano had floated around the globe stopping flights back to Australia! My flight was cancelled indefinitely! The Airline put me up in a reasonably ordinary hotel in Johannesburg. The prospect of having to stay there for any length of time was not appealing. It was also lucky that a Vietnamese TVC project did not go ahead as I wouldn’t have made it to that job on time! So for the next 48 hours, I was grounded. Finally, the word came that we could resume flying back to Australia but unfortunately only via New Zealand or Perth! I chose the Perth route! On arrival in Perth, the Chilean Volcanic Ash problem was still a major problem! There were no flights to Melbourne directly! Instead the Airline wanted me to fly via Sydney! After nearly 4 days of attempting to fly home I was sick of it all. Finally the Airline notified us of a flight, traveling under the ash, that would fly direct to Melbourne! I grabbed it despite any inherent risks.
The Minute Maid TVC job was finally over! I took so many photos of my experience in Cape Town, some of which I have posted to my Flickr Stream. Feel free to check them out here
The Commercial can be seen by clicking the below image: